Nov. 7, 2005 Despite not having heard any word from Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, the Red Hook Community Alliance has decided to hold off on seeking a court decision ordering the government to purchase Vessup Beach.
At a July meeting, the alliances members had decided to seek the writ of mandamus if Turnbull had not responded to them by Sept. 30 concerning the purchase of the beach. (See "Red Hook Group Vows to Continue Vessup Beach Fight".)
The organization has been trying for more than a year to prevent the sale of the beach to a mainland developer and had gained some victory when the Senate adopted a law to acquire the beach through eminent domain with an override of the governor's veto. However, Turnbull has yet to comply with the law or to communicate to the group despite its repeated attempts to speak with him.
"We're holding off on the writ of mandamus because we were told that every indication shows that the administration will move on the purchase of the beach," Andrea King, RHCA president, said at a meeting Monday evening. "I'll be communicating with the attorney general to find out where things stand."
For now the organization has shifted its focus to the salt pond near the Red Hook ferry terminal.
King said she has submitted a pre-proposal for the Gulf of Mexico Community-Based Partnership Caribbean Program, sponsored by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, to assist in the preservation of the salt pond.
If the pre-proposal is approved, the alliance will be able to formerly apply for the grant, which is worth anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000. King said the grant has to be matched with either funds or in-kind contributions. Darlin Brin, V.I. Port Authority executive director, has given his approval for the group to go ahead and work on the salt pond, King said.
The group also discussed ways to increase its membership. Anyone interested in being a part of the group, which seeks to protect the environment of the Red Hook area, should call King at 344-2143.
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